Welsh Lib Dems calls for radical change in approach to mental health
The Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling for a radical change in how Wales' NHS approaches mental health services.
The Children, Young People and Education Committee recently published a critical report that painted a stark picture of the state of mental health services in Wales. The report found that young people in particular were facing a service that "cannot cope with demand."
Figures show that far more young people were waiting for mental health treatment (2,410) in May 2014 than the elderly (634) or other adults (1,291). It has also been disclosed that while £58.18 per person is spent on elderly mental illness, only £13.94 was spent per person on child and adolescent mental health.
Speaking ahead of a debate on mental health in the National Assembly today, Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:
"People in Wales suffering from mental health issues have continuously been let down by the lack of appropriate services available. Young people in particularly have suffered as a result of this complacency.
"For too long the Welsh Labour government has buried its head in the sand and ignored the catalogue of concerns and warnings that have been raised. The Welsh Liberal Democrats believe this issue cannot continue to be overlooked.
"There is a clear disparity in spending with regard to mental health. The level of spend per child per head of population is way behind that of adult and elderly patients. With that in mind, is it any wonder that our children's mental health services are in such a poor state?
"It's time that mental health was taken as seriously as physical health. The Welsh Liberal Democrats have been the prominent party in the Assembly that has championed mental health. We need a radical change in how things are done in Wales and as a party we will continue to lead the way on this subject."